tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 30, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
it's a pretty linear thing. it's a rational thing to want to do. interesting times. nice to see you. >> you too. >> that will do it for us. "hardball" is up now. bad blood. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in miami. mitt gets mean. mitt romney is poised for a win in the florida primary. his latest lead is double digit. the raeason is clear. he got mean. not going to let that happen again p newt has been pounding mitt. it's paying off in florida. newt says no matter what happens here tomorrow night, he's going to fight all the way to the
convention. candidates say that sort of thing all the time, but in newt's case, he could mean it. at age 68, he's not playing good soldier for a shot four years from now. it's now or never for newt. plus, it's personal. he has it out for mitt after the campaign he's been running. if he can't have it, why should he let someone he can't stand have the presidency. the white house learned how to take on mitt romney. win or lose here tomorrow night, he's a much weaker candidate than weeks ago. that's because the obama campaign has been taking notes on mitt and has a blueprint for beating him. and the man florida republicans love to hate. charlie crist tonight here on "hardball." on whether president obama will carry the sunshine state come november. and finally, let me finish with newt versus romney. revenge is a dish best served cold. we begin with the assault in florida. with me are the two pros, joe
scarborough and. >> i was at your event this morning. those people were lined up at 4:00 this morning to catch your act. >> there were some colorful character there is. >> the miami herald reported strippers were there. so i asked, let me see a copy of that "miami herald" story. there's a funny picture of mike allen. guess what is on the side of the ad? while florida was suffering, newt cashed in. everywhere. everywhere you go in the state, mitt romney is hammering newt gingri gingrich. and you know what? it's just like rick scott. this is how he beat bill mccollum. there's always a cost. you end up being hated.
mitt romney may be winning the battle. he's going to lose the war if he's not careful. he needs to start telling people what's good about mitt. >> if he's not careful. you took a little edge off this. romney has a commanding lead in the latest poll. 15 points down here. he's on top with 42%. but the range in other recent polls varies wildly. in a new poll out, romney has a 20-point advantage over gingrich. but in an automated poll, romney had just a 7-point lead over the weekend. that dropped to just 4. at least in one poll, newt is closing. what do you make of that? >> newt is closing on romney? doubt it here in florida, but overall, the question is what are we going to be left with after their done with each other? >> there's a point of diminishing returns and the negative ads. again, everything has been negative towards gingrich from
romney. i wonder if there's a turn around, whether it's a backlash against romney doing nothing but doing the 30-second negative ads. that does, at some point, turn people off. >> there's a tonal problem with romney. catch this. here's mitt romney with matt lauer this morning laying out his new campaign strategy. scale back the attacks on president obama in time to focus on his republicans. let's watch him explain this. >> there's no question that politics ain't bean bags. we have made sure our message is out loud and clear. the speaker has been attacking me all over the state in ways that are extraordinary. and some respects, painful to watch. it's so revealing of him. the fact is that he worked with hundreds of people in washington. and only a handful of those people are willing to support him. >> this is so personal. this is taking on your main
opponent and talking about how nobody likes him. it's high school. >> but he doesn't connect. i'm one of the guys that worked with newt and have a lot of concerns about newt that we talked about in realtime when i was against him on "hardball." even looking at the attacks mitt is making. he's talking about an ethics investigation that most of us republicans believe had nothing to do with ethics and had everything to do with democrats taking down the republican. and so even in his attacks against newt, if he were attacking newt for being ideologically inconsistent, i would say okay. i agree with mitt. instead, he's taking a democratic attack against newt and he's borrowing tom brokaw's newscast to do it. the whole thing. he doesn't get the conservative base. >> let's start with my favorite question. i always ask this. you're on an airplane. let's assume you're up front. who do you want sitting with you on a plane ride next to you?
newt or mitt? >> as a person, i prefer mitt romney. but i think that's pretty obvious. >> i'm strange. i would prefer having to be next to newt. >> of course, you would. >> there's a gender break that's so pronounced in this race. something like a 20-point. the gender is matching up with you guys. >> here's the question i want to know. who would jeb bush like to sit next to? i wish he would make a decision. wouldn't that help move this down the road a bit. >> or marco rubio. >> my point being mitt romney still can't close the deal. are you kidding me? you're going to let your party do this? >> the republicans will allow mitt to win a race and then they will reflect to move against
him. >> buyers remorse in two minutes. this fwhnd a rally, they are criticizing the debates. let's watch this now. >> the first debate the audience was quiet. the speaker said that threw him off. the next audience was very loud. and he said that threw him off. he can't debate before a real audience. it's like goldy locks. it has to be just so. >> in a million years, do you think he thought that up himself? >> no. it's like how many times we heard mitt say politics ain't bean bag. everything this guy says is practiced and rehearsed in front of a mirror. >> be nice. >> and that's the real problem. at the end of the day, we conservatives don't have anybody to rally around.
we had george bush for eight years. we have record deficits from it. there's nowhere to go for us. >> here's the guy i love to hate or hate to love. here he is on fox news on sunday going after what's been done to him. it has been done. here it is about the carpet bombing. >> and he has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponent. he doesn't try to build up mitt romn romney. he just tears down everybody he's against. we're in a tough campaign down here. if you look at the national polls this week, everywhere place else in the country, the idea is that i'm representing the scale of change and the conservative movement. we have been pulling away from him in national polls. by give governor romney's campaign due respect for the sheer volume of negativity they use. >> how ironic. i give them credit for the sheer
volume of negativity. >> it's not whining though because it's the truth. but again, i go back to the rick scott model. i was here when he ran. all he did was what mitt romney is doing. he ran negative ads. as you know, he got sworn in with a 34% approval rating. mitt is playing for the short game. he's being a day trader. he's got to define himself in a positive way. or he's in trouble. >> looking at this as an independent journalist, is the white house thrilled about this? one thing they teach on the 13 keys and predicting elections. if there's an intermural fight in the parties. the other team always wins. >> they are absolutely thrilled. this is fantastic for them. i don't think it's good for the national conversation. i would like to see a really good republican candidate taking on the the president and the conversation being elevated. it looks like mitt romney will
be torn down bit by bit. if newt gingrich gains headway, that would not be good for the country either. >> it's 100 degrees. newt gingrich shows up at the republican convention which is going to crown mitt romney. what's his role? >> the same role of pat buchanan in 19 92. he's going to come in and have a group of people who will be thrilled. they are going to jump to their feet and respond to him in a way. they are not going to respond to the nominee. >> will he get prime time? >> i think he will or else he will blow the convention up. you and i know this, and a lot of people are shocked at home to hear this. but the clintons didn't vote for barack obama four years ago. newt gingrich is not going to vote for mitt romney. >> i believe that but i don't know about the clintons. >> you and i both know. in heated elections, forget
about four years ago. >> by the way, the surmise is worthy of assault. our soldiers fight for democracy. is it good that a guy is on the verge of winning the florida primary by spending $16 million in negative advertisements against the other guy's $4 million? that sounds like a criticism of democracy. you guys are the rich guys spending money in the campaigns to pretend it's the average person voting. >> the system is definitely flawed and crumbling. and the conversation is limited between the republican candidates. it's not great. >> $16 million to destroy a guy's reputation. >> if you use the $16 million to say this is how i'm going to save medicare and balance the budget and get the troops home from afghanistan, that helps. the problem here is you have
mitt romney that's running a campaign without meaning. negative attack ads using democratic ethics attacks against newt gingrich. then he goes on the campaign trail and his punch line is reciting the words to "america the beautiful." >> your candidate was a puppet and you had to pull the strings. >> i would fire them in a second. i would say, you know what? that was a great article. and i recommend you use it in your next job interview because you're done here. that was a disgrace. and i mean it. somebody needs to be fired. but you know what that shows? the lack of respect romney's own team has for him. but you know, ronald reagan, i had confirmation of what i said that grabbing of the microphone. i paid for that microphone. a guy that worked on the campaign said it wasn't all setup. it was a setup. we knew it was coming.
but we let reagan do it. we let reagan have the spotlight instead of blabbing how smart we were to the campaign. they are a disgrace. >> it shows how much puppeteering is going on here. mika, thank you. thank you, joe. i'll be on your show tomorrow morning. coming up, talking about newt not going away. he's make iing it personal agai mitt. it's friday the 13th will never end. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's new glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes.
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mitt romney and supporters are outspending gingrich four to one. $16 million to $4 million in negative ads. it's let's take a look. restore our future, that's the super pac that supports romney. spent $9 million. the romney campaign spent $7 million. gingrich spent a little over $1 million. you have the numbers. four to one in negative spending by romney over gingrich. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now, that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
we will go all the way to the convention. this is going to be a contest for the next four months. welcome back to "hardball." newt gingrich declared he's not going anywhere. he's dialled up his attacks on romney from massachusetts moderate to massachusetts liberal. that's what he's calling him. >> i am, in fact, the legitimate
heir of the reagan movement. >> conservatives are going to come together and decide their don't want a massachusetts liberal. >> the only vote to stop a massachusetts liberal is to vote for newt gingrich. >> wow. if gingrich stays in the race, how does that affect mitt romney's chances. howard fineman is a political analyst. howard, let's talk about this whole thing now. it looks like this guy is loaded for bear. he ain't going anywhere. >> i don't think he is. i talked to a couple of his close friends who advised him to go to the convention. they did that to do a lot of convincing. he wants to do it, but they also want to do it because they want to keep raising money. and they want to raise money based on the idea that there's
an ideal logical fight that needs to be waged for the good of the soul of the party and the conservative movement all the way to the convention. >> this is ted kennedy against carter. >> it's not about newt. it is, but it's not about newt. it's about we need to do this for the soul of the party because this is not a romney party. it's not a massachusetts moderate party. >> this is what ted kennedy said when he knew he wasn't going to win the fight. he went and gave that speech in georgetown. he said it's all about ie deeology. >> i believe now, there's some truth to that as well. there is at the core of it this battle. and the moderates and conservatives in the party have to work out how they are going to like. >> who do you like? right now. >> i think newt does. i think that's illustrated by the fact that romney can't close the deal with the conservatives
out there. >> is that why jeb bush, who everybody seems to like down here, are keeping a distance? what's that about? they don't want to endorse romney. >> two things. one is preserving their own opportunities for the the future. and number two, recognizing that this is more parochial. you come to our state. take the time to fight for the vote. don't assume the vote is going to be there. so there's a little bit of that politics of it. but the core of it rolls down to what is this fight going to be like? and those guys, particularly two of them touted, don't want their fingerprints in the mess. >> i was over in little havana making the usual stop at the cafe ver sigh, which is the palm. and i bumped into two republican congressmen.
john micah and neither one of them sounded to me enthusiastic about the man they had endorsed. they both endorsed mitt romney. but if i can do my john micah properly, it was like, yeah, mitt romney. yeah, mitt romney. i think it's for the reason that michael is talking about. which is they know that newt is flawed. so they have no choice, they feel, but to be with mitt romney. but it's not because they like him personally or agree with him. if there's my breeze blowing here now in the last 24 hours with the strong endorsement of sarah palin to newt gingrich on fox, with rick santorum having left the state because his child is sick, with the bounce back reaction to a little too much dancing in the end zone prematurely by the romney crowd,
that's going to eunite the conservatives for another push at, and i could be wrong, but it's going to be closer in the end tomorrow night than people anticipate. >> we'll remember that if you're right. do you think the republican conservatives look upon mitt romney has fredo? he's a brother but he's weak. sarah palin says she wants gingrich to keep on fighting because he's tapped into the tea party anger. we know that. let's listen to her. >> look at the players in the establishment who are fighting so hard against him. they want to crucify him because he tapped into that average, everyday american tea party movement. so if for no other reason rage against the machine, vote for newt. annoy a liberal vote. vote newt. keep the debate going. >> wow. that's the pure gold there. one reason why newt might want
to stay on his numbers is because they are better nationwide. nationally, they are basically tied. newt is actually up a point. it looks like gingrich has a good case no matter what happens here tomorrow night. he says, look at the national numbers. i'm in this fight. >> as long as he can close it in the noble blt, he can convince himself and others to stay with him. and i think the key thing is going to raise money over the next month. if he can make it out to super tuesday -- >> how does he get through february? >> caucuses. they will feed that energy with no doubt about that. that's all grass roots in many respects. nevada is problematic. but that's already factored in. >> even losing all these races? he could hang into march. >> he's got to figure out some way to do that.
in terms of free media. what the answer to that is, i don't know. but newt is a master at getting free media. >> is your party still have the white boys club? the boys club. is there still a pack of them to get together in some club somewhere and say we're the party. we have to clean this thing up and get rid of this newt guy. >> not really. no. because i think you have seen attempts at that at various stages where you may have some of the governors rallying around a particular candidate like mitch daniels, but not really. this is what's exciting for me. this is all grass roots driving this now. it's great. >> but think about what we know about newt already. the three marriages. the ethics committee violations. every bad thing has been thrown at him, and he's still there. >> women are not as
enthusiastic. >> it gives him a chance to close the gap. >> that will be interesting to close. thank you, michael steele. thank you, howard fineman. up next, comparing president obama to that italian cruise ship captain who jumped ship and left the passengers. is this disrespecting the president? you're watching "hardball" on nbc.
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[ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chilies, you get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. [ british accent ] i host a book club. so sexy... vaga had no tolerance for such dastardly deeds. finally... [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chilies, you get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. first up, resorting to nursery rhymes. newt gingrich is carrying on the republican race until the convention this summer regardless of how he fairs in tomorrow's primary. that will make for an exciting spring and summer for ulg, but it's rattling the world of the republican establishment. here's george f. will yesterday.
>> time is not newt gingrich's friend because the more time he has the more he talks, and the more he talks the more he says things as he did this morning. he said, i would love tor civil, but i'm running against a liar. that's pretty strong language. i don't know if you ever told long fellow's nursery rhyme to your daughter. there is a girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her fore head, when she was good she was good, but when she was bad she was horrid. we're at the horrid stage with newt gingrich. >> that's the gop establishment talking. i'm rooting for newt to stay in this thing. a compelling political conservatiskeptical for us. next up, taking it to the extreme. heated backlash today comparing president obama to the captain of that italian cruise liner who abandoned ship after taking the
concordia on the rocks. let's hear what he said on cbs yesterday morning. >> in the end, in a few months, this is all going to be ancient history. we're going to talk about our own captain ske tet knee, who is president obama. >> what did you call president obama? >> captain francesco schettino. the captain that fled the ship in italy. >> that ship captain is facing charges, including manslaughter for his involvement in the wreck. the dnc chair released a statement calling him out for making that terrible comparison ". he should be ashamed of his comments comparing president obama to the wrecked cruise ship. he would compare the president of the united states to a man now charged with manslaughter shows a lack
discourse. "jay carney called him desperate for attention. finally tonight, since the successful raid of osama bin laden's compound, we heard bits and pieces of what went into the decision to go forward with that operation. joe biden gave us another piece of the puzzle during a speech this friday. as it turns out, the decision was far from unanimous. let's listen to biden. >> every single person in that room hedged their bet except leon panetta. he said go. everyone else said 41, 51, joe what do you think? i said, i didn't know we had so many exist economists around the table. we owe him an answer. i said, don't go. he walked o out and said i will
give you my decision. the next morning, he turned to donovan and said, go. >> the rest of the story is history. biden used the decision to hit back at opponents who attack the president for "leading from behind." up next, if mitt romney wins tomorrow, that's ahead. the big story. obama how is he going to do it? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power,
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the nasdaq fell 4. on the economic front, consumer spending was flat last month. that was the weakest since june, but incomes rose about a half a percent. shares of u.s. airways lost 4% considering an offer from delta. delta hasn't approached the company yet. it's said to be looking at amr, which is american airlines. on the earnings front, wendy's reported a drop in profits. the burger chain has been struggling with higher food costs. the stock lost 4% and citi group shares were down. parsons joined the giant in 2009 following the financial crisis. that's it from cnbc. now back to chris and "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." republicans are focused on what happens here tomorrow night. but for the white house, all bets are on romney. they are prepared to run against the former massachusetts governor already. a new poll shows how tight that race would end up being. according to a usa today poll of 12 key swing states, barack obama and mitt romney are in a virtual tie. 47% for the president and 48% for romney. for newt gingrich, according to the poll, obama would lead by 14 points. no wond they are focusing on the guy to have a fight with. romney showed important weaknesses as he battled newt gingrich and others. you can be sure that the obama campaign is taking notes. what the is president's team learning? we're going to find that out now. eugene robinson is a columnist
for "the washington post." and managing editor down in washington, let's talk about this thing now. we looked at the numbers. let's look at action el rod talking on "meet the press "yesterday. >> independent voters are fleeing romney and his under water nationally. this process is not helping him because he's so intent on pandering to those forces on the right of his party to try to win this nomination. >> he's on the mark. there's some evidence of mitt romney's fall among independents in the latest wall street journal poll. the negative rating has gone up. in november 22% viewed him negatively. in december, it was up to 29%. now it's up to 42%. look at how they match up.
in november, romney beat obama by 13 points. now obama beats romney by eight. let me start with you. there's been damage that might last. the question is will it last? >> there definitely has been collateral damage. this has been a bad patch for mitt romney, who is supposed to have this wrapped up. there are vulnerabilities on the money issue and the question of his wealth. why does he ship it off to swit ter land and the cayman islands? we'll have questions like that. and we have also learned that romney campaign has a tendency towards overconfidence. and toward going so totally negative that they forget to project a positive image of their guy, which you know, as you know from history, it's not
a good idea. you have to make a positive case for your guy to be president. they are not really doing that. >> chris, it's like a snuff movie we have been watching here. they kill newt gingrich, but they don't sell the candidate. >> right. chris, i think you're right. mitt romney has succeeded only by his own admission. he wasn't tough enough in south carolina. so what have they done in the intervening nine days? make a tough case against newt gingrich. now, making a tough case neagait newt gingrich is not the same thing as making a positive case for mitt romney. my guess would be if he wins florida, that is mitt romney, if he wins by ten points or more, they will try to pivot and use the month of february to start again focusing on president obama and why mitt romney would be a better choice. but the success, how he's turned this campaign around in the last nine days is to go after
gingrich. he's not selling a positive mitt romney. he's saying do you want newt gingrich to be your nominee? >> let's watch something rare in politics. a candidate for president, who we think is smart intellectu intellectually, here he is giving away -- asked about the economy. he said it's getting better. the obama economy. this is his number-one challenger speaking. god knows why he said that. but let's listen. >> how do you answer the president's argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it's getting better? >> of course, it's getting better. the economy always gets better after a recession. the question is has it recovered by virtue as something the president has done or has he delayed the recovery and made it more painful. the latter is the truth. >> isn't that a hard argument to
make? >> do you have a better one? it happens to be the truth. >> have you got a better one, laura? is he asking laura? i disagree with her, but is he counting on her to give him a better campaign strategy. >> he's fishing around. what's interesting about that, it's a would have, could have, should have. that's his case against obama. obama has made the recession worse. obama says, if i hadn't done the things i did, it would have been much worse than it was. >> too much nuance. >> it's hard to argue. >> why would you give away the store on the way to buy something? why would you say it's getting better? do you have a better argument for me? can you help me out here because i don't have to a better one? he's admitting he doesn't have
an argument. >> isn't that a tough argument to sell? the reality is it is. we know for a fact in politics is that the president gets too much blame when the economy is bad and gets too much credit when the economy gets better. romney seems to try to thinly slice that onion to say things are getting better, but it wouldn't have gotten better as slowly if it wasn't for what president obama did. it's a lot more complicated argument than just say, things aren't getting better. in politics, simple is what sells. >> yeah. you won the football game, but i won it by more points. thank you so much. up next, let's get a firsthand view of the republican race and whether president obama can win florida. right here in the general election. we have the former governor charlie crist joining us when we return. this is "hardball" on msnbc. this is an rc robotic claw.
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here's proof that the partisan divide is getting deeper if you believe it. president obama has an approval rating of 80% among democrats. only 12% among republicans. that's a gap of 68 points. it's the highest ever for a president at this point in his term. the greatest gap ever. the previous high was 59 points in george bush's second term we'll be right back. ♪ spread a little love today ♪
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we're back. mitt romney's lead in florida is up to double digits now. one day before voters go to the po polls. one person who knows about florida politics and how fickle the voters can be is charlie crist. he was elected governor and four years later lost a senate bid. he rarely makes such appearances. thank you so much for joining us. i'm going to give you a wide view as a pund it. it looks like they have blown newt gingrich out of the running. what's it say about your former party? the republicans? >> it means that money matters in politics. the old expression is, money is the mother's milk of politics. . that's been the case this week.
to the romney's campaign credit, they raised an enormous sum of money. i think it's four to one compared to gingrich. it's making an impact here, just like it probably did in iowa for the speaker. that's made a big difference and it's having a profound impact in florida. >> what do you make of the whole citizens united deal? the effect is totally negative advertising. you turn on any show now in this state, i saw it in iowa. it was worse there. you couldn't watch any show without getting blasted with this negativity. >> it's incredible. it's very distasteful. it's like a circle firing squad. i know that other republicans have talked about the challenge and the diftty this could present to the nominee facing president obama who doesn't have this back and forth going on. there's some that argue maybe
it's healthy because you get more of the republican message out. but it's got to have a detrimental effect. i think the negatives building up for speaker gingrich the pol recently. >> what do you think newt gingrich is going to do walking out of here tomorrow. he walks out of here badly wounded, his character assaulted if not decimated now in two states, the personal attitude he must have towards governor romney. where does that lead from there -- from here. >> this is not bean ball. certainly -- bean bag. that certainly is the truth. but the kind of comments that have gone between the two candidates have been unusually costic, i think. and so there's going to be bad blood as a result of that. but what's important for the republican party, just as it was for the democrats four years ago is to heal quickly, be able to get your act together because the president is going to be formidable in florida. and i think formidable in his re-elect across the country.
>> here's gingrich, the candidate who will probably lose tomorrow. however, howard fineman thinks it's going to be really close. here is gingrich on "gma" this morning securing romney. >> he can bury me for a very short amount of time with four or five or six times as much money. most of it raised on wall street from the guys who got bailouts from the government. in the long run, the republican party is not going to nominate the founder of romney care, a liberal republican who is pro-abortion, pro-gun control and pro taxes. it ain't going to happen. >> so you are in tampa, governor, right now. suppose it's next september, late august next -- this year, actually. nine months or so from now. imagine newt gingrich talking like that at your convention. >> well, it's tough talk. there's no question about it. but, you know, that's been sort of the line. it's interesting to watch because you see that there is a conservative insurgence, if you
will. comments from rush limbaugh, i understand he talked about, you know, you need to back off the heat and the rhetoric as it relates to speaker gingrich. and we saw sarah palin come out i think this weekend saying that if you want to upset a liberal, vote for newt and things like that. so there's an insurgence to speaker gingrich's campaign that the establishment quote/unquote doesn't seem to like or light up to. and so how difficult or how interesting things are going to be here in tampa during the convention in august, only time will tell for sure. what i heard "morning joe" talk about a little bit, i guess this weekend, he said that there's a play for gingrich if, in fact, he does lose tomorrow in florida. getting to super tuesday where you have some other southern states where he might be able to draw upon to sort of reignite himself once again. he's already done it twice. i don't think you can necessarily count the guy out. >> i don't want to waste this chance to have you on for a minute or so, governor. i respect your politics because i think you are a 40 yard line
guy. you are sort of center right. i'm sort of center left on a lot of issues, sometimes left. very rarely the other direction. but i think there ought to be room in politics for someone like you somewhere around the 40 yard line. is there a future? is it all going tor hard right and hard left from now on? >> i hope there's a future. in order to move the country forward, i think you have to have people who are willing to honestly compromise. you understand this probably better than a lot of people on tv. having worked for tip o'neil, how tip o'neill would work with ronald reagan. they might go out and have a bell together but they could make a deal on a handshake and it really meant something. even though they were from different parties, they were americans first and that's desperately what this country needs to move forward. >> i think it's what we need to govern because it's not working this way. you can't get a deal that works. that's my concern. thank you so much. it's an honor to have you back on. governor charlie crist of florida. when we return, let me finish with this shakespearean tragedy we're watching between newt and meet.
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character, $16 million to destroy another guy's reputation and in just one state? would you forgive someone who did that to you? would you smile, shake hands and chuckle over the deliberate effort of another human being to destroy you, to make you look like a crook? well, here's what i think. i think that newt gingrich is not going to forget what mitt romney has done to him in florida, has done to him in iowa is doing to him nationwide. he's not going to get out of the way and make it nice for mitt. he's not going to lay down on the side of the road like some wounded dog. what goes around comes around. that's a washington expression. and it means something. you do wrong against someone on your way up and they remember it when it's time to get you heading down. newt gingrich is paying for his political sins now. romney's right about done. it's why he's got only a handful of backers from his days as speaker. but mitt is also going to pay for what he's done to newt. there's some shakespearean justice coming in this drama. he who kills must die. watch for mitt to get his. i predict newt gingrich stays in this fight to the end, long enough to exact revenge.
there's no way he can tell himself that mitt showed any quarter to him in his annihilation in iowa and florida. why should he? newt gingrich goes sweet on mitt now. what does he owe romney? defeat. i'm betting on newt to pay that debt. the day will come this year when romney pays for what he did to newt here in florida, and when it comes, everyone will know why. mitt romney did what he was told was necessary to win in florida. newt gingrich will remember how deliberately and brutally mitt did exactly that. if the ends justify the means, newt will remember the means and he will administer justice. this fight is not going to end soon. it is not going to end nicely. there's a wonderful word for what's coming here in florida in this republican fight. it's a word popular in southern florida. hell breaking loose. craziness. we'll be covering it here on "hardball." stay tuned. and that's "hardball" for now. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton.